hu·​la | \ ˈhü-lə How to pronounce hula (audio) \
variants: or less commonly hula-hula \ ˌhü-​lə-​ˈhü-​lə How to pronounce hula-hula (audio) \

Definition of hula

: a sinuous Polynesian dance characterized by rhythmic movement of the hips and mimetic gestures with the hands and often accompanied by chants and rhythmic drumming

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A sinuous Polynesian dance, the hula combines undulating movement of the hips and mimetic hand gestures. The dance is often accompanied by chants, drumming, and music played on instruments such as the ukulele. Originally a religious dance performed to praise the chiefs, contemporary hulas tell a story or describe a place, and are danced exclusively by women. The costume typically includes a raffia skirt with a lei (garland) around the neck.

Examples of hula in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Everyone is welcome to join in the festivities that include hula dancing, a fire dance demonstration, food, games and music. Sonja Haller, azcentral, "Best kids things to do in Phoenix in July: Splash pad parties, shark feeds and free fun," 28 June 2018 On Tuesdays, take one to the Tamure Beach Grill for its weekly Polynesian show with fire and hula dancers. James Sturz, WSJ, "How to Choose the Perfect Overwater Bungalow," 31 Oct. 2018 Later, Lids took a keiki (kids) hula class, a highlight of our trip. Annemarie Conte, Woman's Day, "I Took My Daughter to Hawaii to Teach Her How to Be a Better Traveler," 1 Aug. 2018 Two Orlando hopefuls -- hula hooper Jenny Klimantova and fire breather Nathan Spare -- advanced in an episode last week. Hal Boedeker,, "'America's Got Talent': Orlando dancer wows," 20 June 2018 As Barbra the hula-hooper is there to say, MedMen's glossy design and the educational iPads promised that medical marijuana for everyone, and also no one in particular. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "The Barneys of Weed—Or Rather the Target of Weed, Or Maybe It’s the Supreme of Weed—Opens on Fifth Avenue," 20 Apr. 2018 How many times could the hula-hooper spin the lighter hoop in a minute? Science Buddies, Scientific American, "Swiveling Science: Applying Physics to Hula-Hooping," 11 July 2013 Hula Hoop Fitness Class Adults can join trainer Connie Mullen and learn how to be fit by using a weighted hula hoop. Mary Lou Cruz,, "Boynton Beach area events July 18-28," 13 July 2018 Now restored, it’s once again a gathering spot not only for movies but also for events, such as hula shows. Jay Jones,, "Road trip along Hawaii's Hamakua Coast leads to seldom-seen natural beauty," 30 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hula.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hula

1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hula


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Dictionary Entries near hula






hula skirt


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Time Traveler for hula

The first known use of hula was in 1825

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English Language Learners Definition of hula

: a Hawaiian dance that has flowing hand and hip movements

More from Merriam-Webster on hula

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hula Encyclopedia article about hula

Comments on hula

What made you want to look up hula? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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